Neither of the three of them could remember who first suggested the idea, in fact for a short while they even fought about it, but the point is, after years of discord, their silly feud was finally over, and to commemorate the joyous event they pooled their money and went out for dessert.
Triple-decker layer cake! Mmmmm! Rock got so excited he fell into it, splattering them all with frosting. “Oh, man I am such a dolt!”
“No biggie!” said Scissors, promptly trimming away Rock’s offenses, cutting the remaining cake into three perfectly equal portions.
Paper was the last one holding a fork, so wrapped up the leftover bits in case anyone got hungry later.
Suddenly, out of nowhere they were intruded upon by a newcomer, Pencil, who threaded between them urgently demanding protection from Rock. “Help! There are some who want to break me!”
At Scissors, Pencil screamed, “Keep me shaved. I mustn’t ever be dull!”
And lastly, turning to Paper, who had discreetly crumpled into a ball, and was looking to duck into a corner waste can, “Lay yourself flat and yield me your emptiness!”
Paper obliged, with Rock and Scissors servicing their new friend as directed, and the four of them engaged in this way, creative and uncontested for a full 52 weeks before any of them noticed the inscription running along the length of Pencil’s wood, stopping just short of the eraser. It said, “All the best: ME, JWC & WB!”
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Category Archives: Doug Bond
He was 4. I was 40. The day was bright and we were two gentlemen at
Why I thought we should walk down I don’t know. I felt crawly sitting
The Promenade. A front row seat it turned out. Hard candies in my
We ran, walked, ran, double ran, back. Gina was already there. Furious
We worked with him. He drew us pictures. Black crayons, red arrows,
He is 14. I am 50. He runs in screaming with his mother, hopping up
When they finally dredge the boy up from the bottom of the pond he lifts high on the winch dangling like a forgotten Christmas ornament tucked alone between bare branches. Swinging in a night with no wind, he is lowered in arcs and stutters by a man busy at black knobbed controls towards a father so racked in grief and loosed with bourbon no one stands anywhere near him. Mercifully, the color and catalog of struggle is masked by a sun an hour past setting. Even the search lights turn haltingly away from the sudden clamor of connection for what it was everyone has been trying to find.
I am close enough that pond water waves ripple up close to where I stand apart from the others, watching breathlessly as dank weeds and rivulets of water slip from sloped arms and skewed feet. They are bare, blue tinged and rest limply without the shoes that lie buried as ransom in the muck.
Women hold their children and men hold their dogs and I finally let go my breath into a wailing siren sounding for nothing but for its leaving. And with darkness fully down and the houselights bright across the banks I hop logs and run streaming through low branches thick with webs and wide leaves and pull the heavy air wet into my lungs until bounding up the back steps I go looking for my daughter, but find she is already gone to her mother’s for the night.
When I picked her up Janey couldn’t speak she was shaking so much. Her
“Wonderful?” They must have told her to say that. Just another one of
The terms of the “intervention” stipulated I’d get her for only a few
I’d been on thin ice from day one with these people. First, the
Then they finally put the clamps on.
I’d just pecked her on the cheek, handed her lunch when a phalanx of
They lifted the hair above her nape, and began dictating notes for the
The one in the tight tweed jacket and the frosty white hair winked as
Herb Bernstein was a tool-head, a sparkplug, wiry and overcharged. On
Every now and again his wife Bea, would hear the engine screech, then
Normally she kept the kitchen windows shut, but with the oven on and
The noise was something she’d been learning to get along with, but if
Setting the second tray of biscuits down, Bea strained to lean over
Clanking a menthol cough drop against his molars, Herb looked straight
The smiling parents turn their back, both at the same time, for just a
There’s a soundtrack playing in my head when it happens and it happens
LOOK NOW! HELP! PLEASE! Someone tell them. I can feel my mouth
It could be a canoe, the one they will leave at the edge of their
Train station’s not far, not even a mile, so we leave the cars off the side of Dad’s drive. The four of us holding longnecks rustled up from the basement fridge, Dad says, “Time of your life. Enjoy!”
Gene carries the suitbag with all our stuff for the New Year’s party packed in, and Frank’s got the big duffel. We stash the extra Rolling Rocks into Cresci’s coat pockets. There’s still some light, so I herd them up the short-cut through the cemetery.
I tell them it’ll take us fifteen minutes, tops, and light up the joint, start reciting the names I’d known as a kid: Luciano. Caruso. D’Amico. Arciola. Valiante.
Once we’re among the stones, Cresci gets animated and runs over to the Salvatore Mausoleum. Gene follows and when he tries the door, the latch lifts and he freezes.
“Push up and swing it out,” I say. The door jamb scrapes the footstone in front and stops, but there’s room for us to squeeze through one at a time. Frank’s the last one in and he leaves the joint out on the icy path. It’s been a long time since I’ve been inside.
Cresci starts into some mock Latin, crosses himself. We’re belly-laughing so hard, we’re sweating, and I say, “Shhh!” putting my ear up against the cold hard casket.
For a short while we’re locked, perfectly still, listening, and then all at once we hear it, the resolute signal blast of the inbound train heading for the station.